Dale was chosen to participate in the 2013 Hampton Designer Showhouse, sponsored by Traditional Home Magazine, because she has built a reputation for precise, elegant, and livable design work in Manhattan. The challenge of the showhouse, essentially a blank canvas with an imaginary client, was not beyond her. The room she was given is the Terrace Level Lounge; she chose a program to embrace a burgeoning art collection, and devise areas of repose to enjoy the work. And Ms. Cohen’s early training as a painter and photographer clearly are clearly a great asset in this particular room. Her method is to analyze the room as an architectural proposition. A Yale Architectural School graduate, she is able to cast a few intelligent moves to make the room a stage rather than a hallway. Creating a platform for her creative collaboration and designing the Monumental Lantern with artist John Houshmand.
The seating areas are a series of compressed compositions with shapes and forms of chairs, a Minotti sofa, a Valerie Goodman Gallery coffee table, and the Holland and Sherry geometric throw pillows that evoke the early modernist paintings of Jean Arp. Accented by ceiling panels covered in a Maharam wallpaper. Her next big move was enrolling the work of artist and furniture maker John Houshmand. Ms. Cohen thrives on creative collaboration and designing the Monumental Lantern that with Houshmand, that she boldly placed in one entire corner of the room. Few designers would welcome a giant rough sawn luminaire but Ms. Cohen’s early apprenticeship with Richard Serra is evident in this wonderful juxtaposition of scale. Ms. Cohen’s reputation as a brave designer has been established with the inclusion of Houshmand’s piece.
Ms. Cohen’s method is to analyze the room as an architectural proposition. A Yale Architectural School graduate, she is able to cast a few intelligent moves to make the room a stage rather than a hallway. The stairway was divided into two events, one behind a scrim and the other revealed. This gave the sitting area a theatrical backdrop as well as choreographing a Hollywood-style entrance for the visitor walking down the stairs. In fact Ms. Cohen uses a series of fabric backdrops throughout the space to denote different spatial conditions.
The color palette, if said aloud, is the prototypical Hamptons beach house cheery; though Ms. Cohen’s take is altogether different. With a sea blue as her base, she treats the envelope of the space with tinted whites and grays, and just as you are comfortable with this resolve she infuses the space with drops of chartreuse. The optic shock of an electric green is a sign of strength in Ms. Cohen’s tool box. The result is a perfect balance of whimsy and sophistication.
Whimsy, bravery, and compositional sophistication will not be evident or sufficient without Ms. Cohen’s razor sharp rigor. Her attention to detail is what makes one want to sit in the Fritz Hansen chair, under the reading light, with cashmere throw at its side. Ms. Cohen’s embrace of the luxury of detail is what makes for valuable moments in the design world and what sets her work apart.